LATEST NEWS HEADLINES
Almost every single organisational review taking place in 2021 will likely start along the lines of ‘2020 saw a complete change to our ways of working and great challenges’. At our AGM, we too recognised 2020’s upheaval, change and challenges – but recognised the many achievements we have had as a local party. It has been a difficult time since lockdown first started in March 2020, but our members have been vigilant members of the community and continued to campaign on vital issues, such as the climate emergency.
Overall, since November 2019 (the last AGM) our ambition has stayed constant: secure the representation of elected Greens[Read more...]
Southwark Green Party welcomed the declaration of a Climate Emergency by the London Borough of Southwark in March 2019 but councillors and council officers are not acting in a way that responds to the gravity of that declaration.
We call for action that recognises the emergency.
Southwark Green Party members have responded as individuals to the draft climate strategy, and some are also members of the council’s Partnership Steering Group (established in March 2020) and have contributed detailed comments on policy through that process. This response will not duplicate that work, but rather highlights some key failings of the draft strategy and these nine points that define how we would approach the task.[Read more...]
In a guest post, Guy Mannes-Abbott celebrates Tree Week with stories of the Foxglove tree (Paulina tormentosa), one of many species that make up the Heygate Legacy. He led what became a community campaign to force Southwark Council and developers Lendlease to recognise the public welfare or commons value of the urban forest of 458 trees on the old Heygate Estate at Elephant and Castle.
Early in the first lockdown this year I decided to tweet a Tree of the Day from my account @leaftoleaf; images and notes about a new network of trees that I had an intimate relation with in my neighbourhood. Those trees included Persian ironwood and silk trees, Indian bean and horse-chestnut trees, hornbeams and field maples, black pines and poplars, and the trusty London plane in estates, streets and parks centring on the Elephant and Castle.
Latest guidance on campaign activity for Green Party members can be read here https://members.greenparty.org.uk/covid-19 (membership log-in required).
Earlier in the year we hosted with our friends and colleagues in Lambeth Green Party a series of events with leaders from the Green Party under the banner: Beyond Covid-19. I am sure that most of us at the time assumed that months later we might indeed be beyond the pandemic, or at least closer to the end than we are. Nonetheless, with positive news about a vaccine, perhaps we are close to the beginning of the end?
And what about democracy in the time of a pandemic?
The London Assembly and Mayoral elections were due to take place in May 2020. These elections were postponed, now go-ahead in May 2021 and campaigning has begun again. This important election will impact many aspects of our city and provides an excellent opportunity for our Green Party candidates.
- National Co-leader Siân Berry is candidate for London Mayor and captured excellent polling ahead of the postponement
- Two Assembly Members – Siân and Caroline Russell – were elected in 2016 via the Proportional Representation element of the vote for London-wide representatives.
- The ambition is to re-elect Siân and Caroline and to increase the Green representation to at least three and beyond, with Zack Polanski and Benali Hamdache third and fourth respectively on the Green Party list.
Teams in Southwark and across London have been out distributing campaign literature to Londoners – but is this safe or advisable during the pandemic?
As a party that prides itself on evidence-based decision-making, we are following the science and official guidance from Public Health England. What this means broadly is:
- Voters can be confident that receiving campaign literature does not present a risk
- Door-knocking is not authorised
- All campaigners are briefed on ‘safe’ leafletting, which means it needs to be done alone, with a mask on and with regular application of hand sanitiser
- Distributing leaflets is a volunteer activity and therefore is permitted during lockdown
Our guidance is regularly updated but for the time-being, the right type of campaigning is on. Across the borough dedicated campaigners are making a significant contribution to the London-wide campaign. The ambition of this campaign is to reach several hundred thousand voters with multiple rounds of campaign messaging. A massive thank you to those making this happen and for observing the guidelines.
Should you wish to join them, there are always opportunities to do so – the more of you, the better to spread the load. Let us know via [email protected] and we will let you know where and when. Equally, if you have been campaigning and have any concerns or questions, please raise them with your co-ordinator or via the central email.
Information for Voters
If you are reading this as someone who has received campaign literature from us and have questions or concerns, we welcome hearing from you.
For those voters who are vulnerable or who are nervous about voting in person in May, it is useful to remember the option to cast your votes by post or by proxy. Details are available from the Southwark Council website here.
Finally, remember that British, European and Commonwealth London residents can vote but you must be registered to do so. If you or members of your household are not registered to vote, you need to visit here.